Dairy processors can expect an expanding milk supply, growth in exports and rising prices over the near future. But for 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its milk production forecast on Dec. 9, citing slower growth in cow numbers more than offsetting slightly higher growth in milk per cow. USDA’s long-range outlook sees yearly increases in milk production until the year 2024.
The Dec. 9 short-term report from USDA forecasts a hike in milk prices to $16.85 to $17.65 per hundredweight in 2017 from $16.05 in 2016. By 2020, the department forecasts milk prices to be $18.30.